News » Whistler

Trails to be reviewed for conflict

Council news: Public hearing concerns; Goose poop problems



Prompted by a letter from a concerned citizen over the conflicting usage on Whistler's busy trails, council is taking a second look at what can be done.

Bill Moore wrote to the municipality suggesting council consider some hiking trails in Whistler be reserved for hiking only, no mountain bikes.

He suggested the Riverside, Crater Tim and Interpretative Forest trails could be a good fit.

"People always have to be on the alert for bikes and bikes do ride pretty fast on those trails," said Moore, when asked why he sent the letter.

"Let's see if we can get council to do something and designate some as hiking trails and separate the uses a little bit."

Council was largely silent on the subject save Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

"I think he makes a good point and we're seeing more and more conflict with users on trails."

Moore's letter was referred to staff and the recreation and leisure advisory committee.

Concerns remain at Heidi Haus pension public hearing

A longstanding pension, under new ownership for the past year, is ruffling neighbourhood feathers in the Nesters subdivision.

A handful of neighbours turned up at Tuesday's public hearing to express concerns about a rezoning at the eight-room Heidi Haus pension.

Neighbour Charles Steele played a video of the partying and noise coming from the pension in the middle of the night.

"It's pretty rough living next door to this place," said Steele.

He was not alone in his concerns about the noise.

Steele adamantly objected to the rezoning before council that would take space from the conservation tree-buffer area behind the property and include it in the pension zoning piece of the property. This will bring the eight-room pension into compliance.

Former owner Jim Gruetzke, who operated the pension for 28 years with no complaints, also spoke at the public hearing.

He assured neighbours that the rezoning would not make the house bigger, or add more rooms.

"It will remain the way it is," said Gruetzke, adding that the old house manager has since been replaced with a live-in manager who will be on call.

Council will consider the submissions at the public hearing before deciding what to do with the rezoning bylaws at the next council meeting.

75 pounds of geese feces per day dropped at Rainbow

The municipality is asking the public to keep their eyes peeled for new goose nests in an effort to curb the Canada goose problem, plaguing parts of Whistler.

Last year, geese dropped 75 pounds of feces on the shorelines and grasses of Rainbow Park per day, prompting complaints from tourists, landowners and tourism operators.

The municipality is taking a new approach to the Canada geese in 2015: egg addling. This involves replacing real eggs in the nest with fake ones. Geese will continue to incubate until they realize the eggs will not hatch.

It is designed to modify where and how Canada geese inhabit local lakeside areas.

"Birds are already nesting and the public's help is requested to identify locations where the birds are seen," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "It's a two-fold problem: the geese can be quite territorial and aggressive with people, and they can cause environmental and health impacts. We are working toward a situation where the geese can still nest and live in the valley, but in numbers and areas that are better for them and for the community."

People are asked to report nest locations, or lone geese, and pairs of geese to the municipality. Keep away from the nests and do not touch any eggs.

The egg addling will compliment work already being done with dogs and fencing.

Canada geese are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Convention and require a permit to interfere with their activities. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is following Environmental Canada's handbook on management techniques to help control goose populations.

For more information, contact Tara Schaufele, municipal fish and wildlife technician, at